Cold disease, is among the most important diseases that afflict the majority of people. They increase in the winter and with constant weather fluctuations and changing seasons. There are various causes of colds, while its symptoms, methods of prevention, and treatments are numerous.
1. What is cold disease?
The common cold disease is caused by a virus. It is a frequent infection of the nose and throat, also called viral or acute rhinitis.
Cold disease is responsible for sneezing, stuffy nose, runny nose, and often a sore throat.
The main victims of the common cold disease are children, who can contract more than one in a year. The immune system learns to defend itself better over time, but some adults get colds frequently.
2. Causes of cold disease
Many viruses can cause colds.
The common cold is contagious, contact with people carrying the disease promotes its transmission, by inhaling droplets emitted with cold coughs or sneezes.
By hand contact with an infected person or a contaminated object (glasses, kitchen utensils, toys, etc.)
The common cold develops if the immune system is too weak to fight it.
3. What happens to the body when you catch a cold?
The virus begins to confront and overcome the immune system, and the mucous glands in the throat and the nose (the first line of defense against bacteria and air viruses) become its first victims, and this explains why the person has been exposed to a cold.
4. Symptoms of cold disease
The signs associate a sore throat, which is often the first symptom, with sneezing and nasal congestion.
The common cold disease is also characterized by a clear runny nose, which leads to frequent blowing of the nose and some general symptoms, which vary from a case to another and from a person to another. Fever and fatigue usually not very high, headache, crying eyes, and sometimes a cough. These signs disappear within a few days.
In general, the symptoms are as follows:
- Congestion and/or runny nose
- Sore throat
- Sneezing, sometimes coughing
- Headache and mild fatigue
- Very slight fever (occasionally)
Often, sore throats disappear quickly, while runny nose and congestion remain the primary source of complaint in patients, especially on the second and third day of the disease. On the fourth and fifth day, coughing becomes the first inconvenience, while other symptoms diminish.
The common cold usually lasts between 3 to 7 days, although it lasts for about two more additional weeks.
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5. Complications of the common cold
Possible complications of a cold disease:
- Sinusitis: caused by germs, which occurs in 0.5% - 2.5% of adults, after a cold. Similar inflammation caused by viruses is more prevalent, and tests have shown that this infection appears in 39% of people with a cold, after a week. Distinctive symptoms: runny nose, headache, and persistent fever.
- Inflammation of the lungs: mainly due to infection with respiratory syncytial virus.
- Asthma worsening: about 40% of asthma attacks are caused by a cold.
6. Treatment of cold disease
Cold usually heals spontaneously within a few days.
The treatment consists in fighting against the symptoms, without effect on the cause, which is viral.
It is also because of this viral origin that antibiotics are not effective; there is no vaccine for colds given the very large number of viruses responsible for colds.
Among the medicines usually prescribed for colds:
- Those who combine a painkiller and an oral decongestant, sometimes in the form of tablets day/night. These drugs relieve symptoms but do not speed healing.
- Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid).
- Decongestants - above all, a saline solution by inhalation.
It is also advisable:
- To rest and stay warm.
- Drink regularly, especially if you have a fever.
- To fight against sore throat with hot drinks.
7. Prevention of cold disease
Some simple measures are effective in protecting yourself from the common cold:
- Wash your hands regularly.
- Teach children to wash their hands.
- Do not be too close to a person with a cold.
- Leave hands away from the face.
- Do not leave your own objects to a person with a cold: glass, cutlery, washcloth.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Stay at home when you have cold.
- Blow your nose regularly, with disposable tissues to evacuate secretions.
- Wash the nasal cavity with a saline solution.
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Originally published on Live Positively.